developer Kixeye today announced the closing of an $18 million funding round, as well as the appointment of Zynga founding member Andrew Trader to the company's board.
The new funding for the company, previously known as the Casual Collective, comes on top of $4.5 million in previous funding that helped the company grow from 3 employees to 60 in the past 18 months, and led the company to achieve profitability for the past eight months.
Kixeye will use the new money "to bring on more excellent developers who can build more amazing games," Kixeye CEO Will Harbin said in a statement.
The company's current lineup includes Backyard Monsters
, which has nearly 1 million daily players on Facebook, and Battle Pirates
, which attracts 60 minutes of daily play per player, according to the company.
A founding member of Zynga in 2007, new Kixeye board member Andrew Trader left his position as the company's EVP of Sales and Business Development last March. Trader has also served on the board of advisors for major online game company Nexon since March
"I see a massive opportunity in front of Kixeye," Trader said in a statement, adding that the company "has emerged as the leading innovator of social games for core gamers. Gamers want great games, not re-skinned versions of the same thing."
Last week, Kixeye made waves by publicly accusing Edgeworld developer Kabam
of copying their game Backyard Monsters
and re-skinning it with new art, a claim Kabam strenuosly denies.
"There is no question that the engineers of EdgeWorld had Backyard Monsters
open in one window while they coded the copy in another," Harbin said at the time. "It's not detrimental to Kixeye in the short term, but this kind of practice is bad for all of us in the gaming industry."